Starter Villain

Posted September 20, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 11 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Starter VillainStarter Villain by John Scalzi
Published by Tor Books on September 19, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

Inheriting your uncle's supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who's running the place.

Charlie's life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan.

Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie.

But becoming a supervillain isn't all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they're coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital.

It's up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.

In a dog-eat-dog world...be a cat.

This book was all kinds of fun! When I saw this cover, I just knew that I needed to have this book in my life. I have appreciated John Scalzi’s humor in the past and I just had a good feeling about this book. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. The book was funny and kept me on my toes because nothing was impossible in this quirky little tale. And if you are wondering if cats play a role in this story, I can assure that they do indeed.

Charlie is down on his luck. After losing his journalist position and getting divorced, he moved back in with his father, who has now passed, and is trying to make ends meet by working as a substitute teacher. When his estranged billionaire uncle dies, he is asked to stand up for him at his funeral where the mourners seem rather enthusiastic. Before long Charlie is swept away by a world of supervillains who all seem eager to outmaneuver him.

The story was rather exciting and kept me guessing until the end. I loved the fact that there were some pretty big surprises in the story. Charlie was at a serious disadvantage in the world of supervillainy so I was really hoping to see him succeed and he did hold his own – at least most of the time. The humor worked into the story was incredibly well done which took the story to the next level. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this fun little book to others and cannot wait to see what will come next from this talented author.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Tor Books.

11 responses to “Starter Villain

  1. I am REALLY looking forward to this book! I preordered a copy, which should arrive Saturday. I’ve loved what I’ve read of Scalzi’s so far, so I’m hoping this one is equally fun!